THE NETHERLANDS – The European Food Safety Authority panel on Biological Hazards recently announced that the use lactic acid for surface decontamination of beef carcasses, cuts and trimmings is safe.

Officials with Purac, with US offices in Lincolnshire, Ill., welcomed the announcement.

"Our Purac portfolio is effective against E. coli when decontaminating surfaces of fresh meat," said Lonneke van Dijk, meat category manager at Purac. "These natural antimicrobials have proven themselves in the beef industry by having been successfully used for decades as part of multiple hurdle systems. Purac sees the positive opinion of the EFSA panel as an important step forward in European Commission efforts to combat various foodborne pathogens."

The EFSA panel validated the safety and efficacy of treatments for decontamination of beef surfaces consisting of using 2 percent to 5 percent lactic acid, applied either by spraying or misting. Several studies were evaluated that reported significant reductions in microbial loads (e.g. E. coli) compared to water-treated or untreated carcasses.